Capture2Black Friday has passed and those of us that did not want to brave the crowds will be getting our shopping done online. Last week I participated in a conference call with Global Influence (formerly Momfluence), AVG and CyberMonday.com. There were some great tips and discussions. Here are a few tips for making sure you are shopping securely:

1.      Look for the “S” for Security: Make sure the sites you are shopping from are secure and have “HTTPS” in the URL.  The “S” ensures security.  Also, look for the padlock symbol and research shopping sites at locations such as shopzilla.com and pricegrabber.com.

2.      Stay Current on Security Software: Make sure you have the latest virus protection software updates from your provider before you start your holiday shopping.

3.      Think Before You Link: Employ a URL scanning tool to ensure you’re not clicking on links that lead to infected websites.  Free tool here: http://free.avg.com/us-en/download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition

4.      Keep Your Private Information Private: Make sure you keep your personal information private.  Create a separate e-mail account just for shopping and use a unique password.  Keep records of your online shopping by printing confirmation pages and e-mail confirmations.

5.      Mix Up Your Passwords: Each e-mail, bank, credit card account should have a unique password.  Write them down and store them in a secure location.

These tips can all be found at www.shop.org/shopsafely

From now through Cyber Monday (11/30), $250 in gift cards from Shop.org’s retail partners will be given away daily at the Cyber Monday Twitter account (http://twitter.com/shopcybermonday), Facebook account: http://twitter.com/ShopCyberMonday and http://www.facebook.com/shopcybermonday

Please check out those pages for some great shopping tips. In addition, be sure to try out the free virus software from AVG. There is no expiration for the

Capturesoftware or updates and it is a truly free great virus protection tool.

Happy shopping!